Business news

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Sand is a key ingredient in hydraulic fracturing, but breathing in too much of it can lead to silicosis, an incurable but entirely preventable disease caused by sand particles or respirable crystalline silica.

A 2012 alert and study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health raised an alarm that workers at fracking sites in Colorado and four other states were exposed to silica dust at levels that exceeded occupational exposure limits.

Many companies in the industry have responded by changing the way they handle frack sand. New innovation and investment suggests a technological fix can protect workers while boosting efficiency. The changes are as much a way to improve operations as strengthen worker's protections.

Sometimes fast food just isn't fast enough. A new highly automated restaurant that opened in San Francisco on Monday looks to speed service through efficiency — you won't see any people taking your order or serving you at the Eatsa quinoa eatery.

Emily Wilmsen / City of Fort Collins

Fort Collins' historic Trolley Barn hasn't housed working trolleys in a long time – but the time may be right to bring some new life to the old barn, said Josh Birks, City of Fort Collins Economic Health Director.

In the last few years, a variety of groups including restaurateurs and historic restoration groups have inquired about moving in. Right now, the 10,000-square-foot space is used to store city vehicles, as well as a trolley restoration project.

"There's a lot of growth going on in that area right now and a lot of potential," said Birks. "To me, that just underscores the need to get it right."

City of Greeley

With crude at about $40 a barrel and no oil price recovery in sight, one might expect that Greeley, the town at the center of Colorado’s oil boom, would be seeing a bit of an economic slowdown.

So far, that does not seem to be the case. At least where the housing market is concerned.

Town of Estes Park

If you visit Estes Park, you’re part of the problem.

The town is grappling with increasing tourist traffic and parking problems, which have only gotten worse as Estes Park’s popularity has grown. Throw in 3 million annual visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park and a roadway that wasn’t designed to handle the congestion and you’ve got a big headache.

But how to fix it?

Monsanto's Messy Syngenta Courtship Comes To An End

Aug 26, 2015
Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Breaking up is a hard thing to do. It’s even harder when you’re a publicly traded, multinational seed or chemical conglomerate.

Monsanto, the St. Louis-based seed company that produces the widely-used herbicide RoundUp, had to learn that lesson the hard way. The world’s largest seed company announced Wednesday that after months of wooing, it’s no longer pursuing Switzerland-based Syngenta, the world’s largest producer of farm chemicals.

Here's an awkward situation. You're in Hawaii with your spouse, vacationing. And you find out you've been exposed as part of an adultery website. Your email is in the Ashley Madison data that hackers leaked. This is precisely the situation in which Casey Corcoran found himself.

An Awkward Moment

Over the weekend, Corcoran and his wife were in a hotel room overlooking the ocean. It was about 6:30 p.m.

Organic Farmers Struggle With Stigma Of 'Dirty Fields'

Aug 26, 2015
Luke Runyon / KUNC/Harvest Public Media

While consumers might seek out organic food for its purity, organic farmers have a reputation for being anything but.

A study conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale found that farmers who go organic are often subject to a “weedy field bad farmer” mentality in their communities, a social stigma organic corn and soybean growers face for having mare’s tails and pigweeds poking their raggedy heads up through the neat rows of cash crops.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that the judgment can be so harsh, it’s an actual risk factor [.pdf] conventional farmers who are interested in transitioning to organic should consider before making the switch.

Peek into a Peloton indoor cycling class in New York's posh Chelsea neighborhood and it'll look like most other indoor cycling classes. Sixty stationary bikes are clustered in a dark room, loud music blares to get the heart racing, and a mic-ed up instructor motivates riders.

Except this class has one major difference: Instructor Jen Sherman isn't just talking to riders in the classroom. She's also monitoring metrics for riders in places like New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Kansas. "Jamie in Wichita, good to see you this morning," she says.

Here's an experience some of us have had. The phone rings. You pick it up and say "Hello. Hello. Helloooo." But nobody answers.

It turns out there could be someone on the other end of the line: an automated computer system that's calling your number — and tens of thousands of others — to build a list of humans to target for theft.

Build A List

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop Security, a company in Atlanta that detects phone fraud, says that in any number of ways, the criminal ring gets your 10 digits and loads them into an automated system.